Waikato single collections, unusual objects
Discover a fascinating location for a cafe nestled amidst 1950’s memorabilla celebrating the hayday of petrol signage, 1950’s cars and milk bars in Hamilton or wander through Otorohanga, a town where the entire place is dedicated to kiwana objects. Quirky stories and hidden gems found in small towns are part of our KIWI TOWNS series. Often the towns are on one of our road trips creating a one of a kind holiday experience.
CLASSICS MUSEUM – PETROL SIGNS, VEHICLES – HAMILTON
A petrol head at heart then this is the place to go. The Classics Museum has an extensive collection of petrol memorabilia – enamel signs, pumps, tins, and oil bottles. There is something for the whole family with a wide range of interests with vintage toys, pedal cars, and scenes from early New Zealand. There is a cafe / diner channeling the 1950’s hip culture.
KIWIANA COLLECTIONS – OTOROHANGA
The entire town is an assorted trail of kiwana objects. A town celebrating kiwiana is an amusing place for kids and all age groups. Hokey Pokey ice cream is a favourite with dairy next door to sample the real thing. Kiwiana on steroids, murals, enormous sculptures, statutes and open air art. The Sir Edmund Hillary Walkway is amusing to see everyday things, such as hokey pokey ice cream as a huge object. Download the quiz sheet from travel pack information section to make the walk even more fun. There is even a kiwana themed mini golf course.
CANS, BOTTLE TOPS – NGATEA WATER GARDENS
Quirky original humour from a corrugated toilet complete with two doors for ladies and gentlemen or parking metres next to a picturesque pool filled with water lilies. Check Ngatea Water Gardens for details. And if the beautiful landscaped grounds with their amusing humour is not enough ARTHUR’S CANNY MUSEUM is a beautifully chilled drink on a hot day. There are over 11,000 cans beautifully displayed in glass cabinets. Thousands of cans with major sporting events, girly poster styles, and major brand launches. It is absolutely world class, fascinating and a must-go destination. The gardens are an awesome bonus. The collection was owned by Arthur Blake who began collecting cans in 1989; the can that started the collection was an Australian beer can he found on the side of the road.
HAMILTON GARDENS – STEAMPUNK AIRSHIP
Huddleston is an eye-catching blimp. The blimp is actually practical with gardening equipment and gadgets. Huddleston is part of the Concept Garden Fantasy Collection. It is oddly fascinating to think about the possibilities of Huddleston quietly gliding at night in the gardens.
Waikato Coalfields Museum is about the coal face in Waikato. The stories of domestic life, newspaper cuttings and family history databases have created a great resource for individuals seeking genealogical answers. The museum is managed by passionate volunteers, check beforehand to avoid disappointment.
TE AWAMUTU MUSEUM – FINN BROTHERS – MUSICIANS
History never repeats itself, just comes around with Finn’s well known musical score. While the regional museum is a treasure of local history and collectables for Finn fans their musical legacy is encapsulated in a permanent exhibition of clothing, records, awards and interesting facts: for example, did you know the art band Split Enz opened for heavy metallers Black Sabbath?
SPACE, INTERSTELLAR EXPLORATION – KIHIKIHI, TE AWAMUTU
Quirky passionate volunteers Te Awamutu Space Centre open by appointment only. Te Awamutu Space Centre is a museum with a passion for space. The showcase exhibit is a small collection of artifacts from the American and Russian/Soviet space programmes. There are information displays about the Universe, the history of space exploration and scientific research. There is an interactive screen to see what’s in the night sky, tour the Solar System and land a spacecraft.
Read more about places to visit in Hamilton in our Hamilton travel guide.
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